Bug-In/Bug-Out Transportation, by WVA

In this articles, I will discuss some considerations for selecting and preparing your Schumer Hits The Fan (SHTF) vehicle.

Nearly all post-disaster/prepper/survivalist/etc. novels follow one of two plot lines. The first, our heroes are caught away from home and forced to travel on foot when their vehicle ceases to operate due lack of fuel, mechanical failure, being stolen, etc. The second, our heroes are at/near home and are bugging-in, using the vehicle for short trips until bugging-out when the situation deteriorates. Either of these plot lines show how vital reliable and capable motorized transportation will be when the worse happens.

Over several years now, my Bug-Out Vehicle has changed several times and I have made numerous modifications with the goal of maximizing what I thought to be the required capabilities. During this process, my thought process, goals, equipment have all changed many, many times as my thinking matured, routes and destinations evolved, and new equipment and vehicles have entered the market. I hope that my latest line of reasoning and evaluation will provide you with a springboard to start your own Bug-Out Vehicle Project.

The first place to start your considerations is to clearly define your needs, operating environments, and capacities. Someone that is bugging-in in a major city with a bug-out route over the Rockies will need a much different vehicle than some in a minor suburban area going thirty miles across the Plains. Try to use actual numbers, not just “Well, this should be plenty” or “Hmm, better take few off.” Doing so will help define the type of vehicle that is required.

To define your needs, consider some of the following items. Please take this outline as a starting point–not a completed list.

  • What will traffic and avenues of travel be like in my bug-in location? Along your bug-out route and at your bug-out location?

If the local situation is to the point where evacuation is being taken by substantial parts of the population, then it can be guaranteed that traffic conditions will be a mess and will resemble a cross between Mad Max and the end of major sports or entertainment event. Include the likelihood that law enforcement will not be pre-positioned to deal with traffic accidents and keep lanes open, a gridlock situation is almost guaranteed. This would require a vehicle that can: a) maneuver between and around vehicles easily, such as a micro-car, motorcycle or dirt bike, or b) maneuver off established roads onto secondary state and county roads or onto bare dirt, mud, grassy terrain at a variety of inclines without the risk of loosing control, such as a Jeep, a 4 wheel drive truck, or a side-by-side ATV, or c) be physically robust and powerful enough to force its’ way through, such as a large military surplus diesel powered truck.

Don’t forget non-motorized options for bugging-in transportation such as bicycles. These can greatly increase your range of operation, are quiet & highly maneuverable, low maintenance, and are easy to store. A small pull behind cart could be a great addition for transporting items.

  • What are possible weather conditions that can affect travel at the bug-in location, along the bug-out route, and bug-out locations?

What are the possible, worse-case weather conditions that could occur? We are all aware of how even moderate weather events can turn even the best roads into unpassable, crawling-along nightmares. Would the highly maneuverable micro-car or motorcycle still be a good choice if trying to move around gridlock with 6” of snow and ice on the roads? How stable will a lifted Jeep with mud tires be traveling at interstate speeds in a downpour? Will that surplus 2-1/2 ton truck diesel start or run when the temperature drops below zero for days on end?

  • How many people will need to be transported?

For most, this would consist of your immediate family. Don’t forget to include pets, other members of your prepper group, or close friends and neighbors as they may apply. Try to be realistic in how many people can comfortably fit into the vehicle, particularly if your bug-out route is more than several hours long at best. As anyone who has drawn the short-straw and had to ride in the back of Camaro/Mustang/sports car, just because it has four seats, doesn’t make it a four adult passenger car.

  • How much supply will need to be transported? What is the weight and volume of these supplies? How will the supplies be protected from the weather? Will a tow-behind trailer be required?

This will vary wildly from individual to individual. Someone that has an established bug-out location that they visit regularly, such as second home, hunting cabin, etc., will most likely already have that location supplied. If so, the vehicle will only need to handle individuals, their bug-out bags, and perhaps a last round of “nice-to-have” supplies and luggage. At the other end, someone who’s bug-out location is several days away and is set up for short term visits may have to bring as much food, clothing, ammo, etc. as possible to have any chance at all at surviving.

Weight and Volume Test Loads

Once you determine how much “stuff” will need to be transported, you can begin estimating and test fitting for volume by using moving boxes, egg cartons, or ammo boxes to fill the cargo areas. It is best to try to pack as much weight forward of the rear axle as possible. This splits the weight onto the front and rear wheels instead of pulling weight off of the front wheels and making the vehicle “float” in the front. Weight can be estimated by packing a test container full of different supply types such as ammo, dry foods, canned foods, clothing, etc., and weighing with a bathroom scale. Another option, and the most highly recommended, is to do an actual test loading of all of your survival supplies and equipment.

Protecting your supplies and equipment is obviously of vital importance, as all the equipment in the world is of no use to you or anyone else if it arrives at your bug-out location damaged and unusable. Packaging gear is fairly simple if it is going inside an enclosed cab vehicle such as the hatch area of an SUV or back seat of a car and should be little different from loading up after a trip to Wal-Mart. Packing gear for extended travel in possibly poor conditions can be more complicated if using an open cargo area such as the bed of pickup truck or a hitch cargo rack. Options include installing a camper top shell over the cargo area of the truck, packaging supplies in weather proof containers such as Pelican or RubberMade cases, use cardboard moving boxes and then wrap each box with a plastic stretch wrap, or completely load the cargo area and then cover with a tarp. Each option comes with it’s own set of pros and cons and will have to be an individual choice. Be sure to adequately secure the load to prevent movement and damage. If using a tarp, the tarp needs to go around the outside of the vehicle cargo box and secured, not tucked inside. Tucking the tarp inside allows water to pull in the bottom of the cargo box and infiltrate your cargo.

Trailers

Tow-behind trailers will depend highly on the individual locations and routes. Someone that is trying to bug-out from a city via the interstate to their bug-out location will most likely not want to use one due to the decreased maneuverability, additional vehicle length, reduced fuel mileage, and reduction in off-highway performance. Someone who is traveling along a lightly traveled secondary or lower ranked road from one rural or suburban community to another may not encounter conditions where a trailer is a hindrance. Most likely a loaded trailer– open or enclosed–would be a very tempting target for those taking advantage of the breakdown in social order.

  • Will passengers need to be sleep in vehicle encase of inclement weather?

As anyone who has ever went on a road trip gone bad knows, even the most comfortable vehicle to travel in is among your worst options for places to sleep. This condition will be much worse when every seat in the vehicle is filled with either an individual or supplies which may or may not be weather sensitive. Several options are available to minimize this challenge. Having a rotating driver schedule so that more distance can be covered before having to stop. Keep caffeine supplements on hand. Pack all-weather camping equipment that allows for sleeping outside of the vehicle, there are also roof-top pop-up tents are available for a wide range of SUVs and pickup trucks.

  • What is the required operating range to travel your bug-out route? What about detours?

Defining the operating range of the vehicle should generally be defined as either a) the longest route practically possible to travel from your bug-in location to your bug-out location or b) the maximum range of your vehicle carrying as much fuel as possible. There are few options available for shortening your bug-out route aside from planning and even than you are still at the mercy of Mr. Murphy as to how far you may have to travel to reach your final location.

Options for Extra Fuel

Increasing the amount of fuel you can carry is an area you can have meaningful effect. For almost all vehicles, it’s possible to somehow carry an additional 2 to 90 gallons of fuel. Multiple manufactures make saddlebag fuel cans for motorcycles, standard 5 gallon metal jerry can or plastic fuel jugs can be found at many local gas stations and nearly every hardware store. Vehicle specific enlarged replacement fuel tanks or in-bed transfer tanks can be sourced at most farm and equipment stores. It should be noted that fuel cans should never be transported inside the cabin of a vehicle and that federal law limits what kind of tanks and jugs that can be used for gasoline.

Vehicle Modifications

Now that your needs, environments, and capacities have been defined, let us consider how to prepare your vehicle with some useful modifications, tools, and equipment that can maximize the performance of your vehicle.

  • Everyone over the age of 40 has probably seen Burt Reynold and Jerry Reed talking to each other via CB radio as the Bandit and Snowman in Smokey and the Bandit warning about traffic accidents and “Smokeys”. CB is Citizen Band, a form of loosely-licensed radio transceivers universally used by on-highway truck drivers to communicate weather and traffic conditions as well as route advise and gossip about what they’ve seen. It’s also widely used in rural areas to communicate before landline and cell phones developed. Being able to listen in on these conversations could be a huge benefit, allowing you to know what’s a head of you on your route. Depending on the equipment used and weather conditions, transmission range can vary from a few hundred yards for handheld, walkie-talkie size units to tens of miles for dash-mounted or home-based models with more substantial antennas.
  • Front End Protection. With the assumption that the Rules of the Road and human kindness will be jettisoned when SHTF, it is highly likely that you could be involved in some type of traffic accident. While never a good thing, this would be even worse while trying to bug-out if the accident damaged and crippled your vehicle. Most vehicle designs place nearly all of the delicate parts such as the engine, radiator, steering system, and sometime the drive system as well, in the front of the vehicle. To minimize the possibility of these systems becoming damaged, consider adding front end protection. For a Jeep, SUV, or pickup truck, this could be as simple as replacing your bumper with a piece of steel C-Channel, I-Beam, or pipe. Or it could be as expensive as a professionally designed and built steel rock or off-road bumper. Either approach would be highly effective in minimizing front end damage. Protection for passenger cars and most SUVs will be more difficult to find, especially if a clean, smooth, refined look is desired. Working with a body or fabrication shop on a one-off custom unit maybe required to obtain to desired level of protection.
  • Suspension and Power. If your vehicle has a high probability of being forced to travel off road, then major improvements may be needed. Suspension lifts are widely used to increase the height of the vehicle body over the wheels, allowing for the suspension to travel farther. This makes for a gentler ride on rough terrain and for greater articulation of the suspension, keeping all tires in contact with the ground. The trade-off is that the vehicle may not ride as smoothly as before and/or can experience more sway (side to side) movement when turning or making abrupt maneuvers. Installing these lifts can be done at home in a day or two by a good mechanic. Additional horsepower may also be required, whether in an on-road or off-road situation. Most modern vehicles can easily have their performance increased by installing a high-performance program on to their computers and replacing the intake system with a high flow filter and cold air intake. Replacing the factory exhaust system will also increase horsepower but note that will result in a louder exhaust noise.
  • Tires and Spares. Equip your vehicle with good quality tires suitable for your environment. Mud terrtain tires have a very aggressive tread pattern that perform excellent off-road but can have poor stability at highway speeds, wear quickly, and can be annoyingly noisy at highway speed. Highway or touring tires have a very smooth tread pattern and do very well on-road, at speed, or in the rain but perform poorly in dirt, mud, or snow. All terrain tires are a nice balance between the two, offering a relatively smooth and quiet ride on the highway and performing well in moderate dirt, mud, snow, and rain conditions. Have at least one full size spare tire for your vehicle. Do not rely on the factory-included “donut” spare tire. Include an actual floor or bottle jack to lift the vehicle, not the flimsy factory-included jack unit. Learn how to change and plug a flat tire. If you have a likelihood of heavy snow or ice, consider including a set of tire chains and learning how to use them. These are incredible traction aids on winter roads.
  • Tools and Spares. Basic auto tools and supplies should absolutely be included. Examples include, but are not limited to; heavy, good quality jumper cables, basic tool kit with sockets, wrenches, and screwdrivers; a tire plug kit; battery terminal cleaning tool; spare headlight bulb; spare fuses; flashlights; a car powered air compressor; and a recovery strap. Note that there is a difference between a tow strap and a recovery strap. A tow strap has a low “stretch” ability, it’s meant to pull an object. A recovery strap is more like a rubber band and is meant to stretch under load and then snap back to it’s original length in order to get a stuck object moving.
  • Winches can be very useful in dislodging a vehicle that has become stuck and are primarily seen in off road situations. There are a variety of options on the market starting at hand powered units rated at a few tons and go up to electric or hydraulic powered vehicle mounted units capable of pulling 10 tons or more. Many manufactures also sell “starter” or “gear bags” as well, which include straps, shackles, cable or rope, and sheave wheels. These can be an excellent way to get a basic equipment kit.
  • Diesels. A special note for diesel owners. Diesel trucks, especially modern ones, are very sensitive to fuel issues such as algae, contamination, and water. Some models are also prone to the fuel gelling in the fuel filter in cold weather. Extra fuel and water filters with wrenches are absolutely required. Diesel anti-gel fuel conditioner is also highly recommended. If your model is prone to gelling fuel filter, fuel tank heater blankets are available from a variety of manufactures.

Hopefully the preceding outline will provide you with starting points in evaluating your vehicle needs to bug-in or bug-out.




57 Comments

  1. I live near Atlantic Ocean resorts in MD and DE. Numerous out of staters escaped their cities to come down to their summer vacation condos and homes. They added to the stress on our groceries and our small inadequate hospitals. There is a tremendous amount of resentment towards them.
    In a true SHTF scenario, I could see road blocks and attacks on them. If you are going to bug out, you may want to have a backup vehicle that is locally tagged, otherwise, even if you make it to your bugout location, you might find yourself in a precarious situation as an outsider, easily identified.
    The MD Governor and the resort Mayor have re-opened the resort while local numbers of infected are still growing. This weekend should be a complete disaster.

  2. A good article, thank you. My biggest obstacle was recently removed when I moved West of the Mississippi River, and I am now located approximately 2 hrs away from my BOL. The newest wrinkle in my plan is my Son is moving out and taking his truck with him. Time to rethink the loads and down to two cars now. The route is easy as we are in the Mid-West. Highway problems? Shift to a side road and go down 3-4 miles. Everything is cut in nice, beautiful, mile measuring roads. An Atlas in each car also helps. Not to forget a recent State map in one of my BOBs. Always trying to think and reasses.

    1. Having lived in the Midwest for years, don’t count on those nice range-and-township grid-square roads always going through. Many will end at streams that may have been bridged a century ago but now the bridges are long-gone (no big deal driving a dozen miles out of the way in the age of diesel trucks compared to horse-drawn wagons) or never existed in the first place.

      In terrain that’s not suited to row crops, the square grid may not exist at all, as the original settlers would have laid out the roads to go to widely dispersed farms and the population density never developed to justify the expense of building roads. Plus the locals didn’t want to have to build miles of additional fences alongside roads that no one would be using.

      Always — always! — have an actual paper map of your locale and anyplace you think you might be going. Printing a downloaded map is an option, but be sure that it’s printed using ink that won’t run if it gets the least bit wet. At minimum, put your maps in a ziplock bag so that they can be read without touching the paper.

    1. Out here the defender is pretty hard to find, and very expensive.
      I was looking at older Toyota land rovers last weekend. I was shocked at the prices for ones in decent condition that had 150-200,000 miles on them.

  3. re diesels, i cannot highly enough recommend older indirect injection diesels which are 100% mechanical systems. Modern diesels (most anything sold in the western world after the mid 90s) have electronically controlled injection, and are thus prone to the same class of electric/electronic failures and complex system interdependence with sensors and computer etc, as gasoline cars. Leaving out extreme EMP scenarios, a bigger daily reason to reject those complex systems is just that- theyre complex and instead of the parts reinforcing each other to give more robustness, theyre all critical and a single one of them malfunctioning renders the whole system inoperable. Theyre not user-servicable parts (usually the only maintenance is ‘throw away and replace), theyre expensive, and they DO fail. ive had a number of old ’80s mercedes and VW diesels which went for hundreds of thousands of miles with zero failures and the only maintenance other than filters, oil, etc, was items like annual valve adjustments on the benzes (half hour job with low tech wrenches and a couple shims for gap checking) , or every few years replacing a timing belt on the VW’s (few hours job with similarly primitive tools you probably already have). The only electronics in those cars is in the timing circuit for the glow plugs and while ive never had one fail maybe they can.. in which case you’ll have a hard start (in a cold winter you’d then need to manually short the glow circuit to battery to get some heat). If you want to eliminate even that you could as well just put a manual switch to engage or
    disengage the glow plugs.
    Anyway. Modern diesels are so complex that the diesel aspect is kind of lost in a sea of electronics. find an old one.

    1. Anon,,,,so well put ,,early 5.9 Cummins can be kept running with tractor parts , my phase 1. 93 dodge still ran good at 500k ,glow pluge switch ,choke cable rack shutoff ,chev 100amp alt , No computer no crank senser no electrical problems,

    2. Spent a couple of days stuck in the Colorado mountains when the Ford diesel pickup I was riding in had a problem with one of the sensors. A $20 part and 5 minutes work to install it, but the parts store was hours away and there was no useful commo on hand.

      Simpler is always better in the back country and in times of trouble.

  4. another comment: while we talk about long distance bug-outs and theyre a stock item in a lot of scenarios, we need to remember that theyre not very practical in a true SHTF situation. Just 2 months ago i got a reminder about this. My ‘home base’ and also what one would call my BOL is a small village on a mountainside on an island where we have friends, relatives, and roots going way back etc. but, in the modern world one also needs a job and some income, and for many years i have been working a thousand miles away in another country. If the SHTF while i was away in switzerland-mode, my bug-out back to greece would be something like ken & terry layton in patriots, but through 4 or 5 other countries along the way and several different languages!
    My simplest route was half driving and half on ferries, through northern italy and then crossing the adriatic, and then another shorter sea-crossing of a hundred miles or so to home. I do this route several times a year. Now northern italy was starting to show some small regions where they were closing roads and cutting off movement! i made the call and we packed the car (early 90s diesel VW naturally!) with whatever we could think of, and hit the road that friday. We got to ancona and got on the ship without much trouble, got across country and on the other ship, and got home, about 48 hours later, some delays and very tired but otherwise just fine.. By the time we had gotten home though, we saw that the day after we drove through italy, they closed the roads and if we’d have waited just one more day we’d have been stuck. It really felt like we’d just made that proverbial thousand mile bug-out in the nick of time!
    but thats not at all a practical plan to depend on. The decision to pack up and leave at the time we did was made after some serious thinking and yes some prayer. Days after arriving home they shut down the whole country and we (like the rest of the country) were under house arrest for a month and a half, and only this week are we ‘allowed’ out without a special permit. We’re still confined to the island though for several more weeks as they arent allowing passengers on the ships, only deliveries of goods., and no news on when i’ll be able to get back up to my job and apartment up there. They still have the whole company ‘working from home’ anyway so it doesnt matter much at the moment but now having lived through the lite version of that scenario we are seriously rethinking priorities and will try to find any sort of work that will allow us to eliminate that very very long and fragile link. Being at the wrong end of that when TSHTF could make the whole point of prepping moot.
    long story short, while we knew it was a risk before, we’re much more convinced now that long distance bugouts are highly impractical and we need to get back to living at our home base full time.
    we’re putting in a garden again for the first time in a couple years though and that’s a good thing.

  5. Very good vehicles can include “pre-smog” ones.

    Gasoline engine is a very viable choice and while it is true that gasoline doesn’t store as well as diesel it has the advantage that it can be easily modified to run on natural gas or high proof alcohol.
    Yes by doing this you will lose some mpg and HP.
    Yes it will take a while and knowledge to distill a tank of gas.

    But pre-smog vehicles are often a wide open for modification platform. Most states don’t require too many inspections out side of safety ones so long as it appears to be “Kosher” on the outside.

  6. I found out a while ago that one of the best get home vehicles is a GP type motorcycle. Up here in AK, V-Strom models are fairly desirable as they are decent at both cruising on pavement and some offroad capability. Once traffic snarls as people try to get out of the big city, motorcycles can go where cars cannot. Also, if the paved road gets busted up from one of our earthquakes (as it did a couple years ago), it is far more likely you can get around the obstacles on two wheels. Bicycles will work, and if the distance to go is close enough or the route is not too hilly, I would use one if I had to. You can set up either for bad weather, within reason. If the snow is too much, either I stay home, or I grab the snow machine instead.

  7. You can buy caffeinated chewing gum, works great for long trips.

    Buck touched on this, recent events and comments on this site have shown, even if you do have a bug-out location, there is a great chance you’ll be turned away by the sheriff or just run off by the locals, who won’t care that you actually own the property. Good luck with the plate switch gambit, I used to live in a town of 500 people, license plates or no they know who “lives” there and who doesn’t.

    1. On the topic of caffeine on the road

      I used to live in southern California the traffic would snarl so bad that I got an inverter and just brewed a pot in the work truck on the way to work. Since I was driving and responsible I had my creamer and sugar already in my cup or I would pull over to mix it in cup but …

      Yup that’s how I got my coffee fix on the way to work. I even had a microwave in the back seat to plug in to the inverter for lunches when required.

      If you are traveling to a distant area or one your not at often it’s worth it to get a box at the post office with dated letter. That way you hit a road block you can have your info verified by giving law man or authority the key or combo to it. Stateing who you are what address your property is of course you have copies of your lands paperwork etc with you for verifying.
      That won’t help much during pandemic but for other scenarios it should work

      1. The problem is what to do with the coffee after it has gone through your system. If you are in the left lane of a 12 lane highway and the only thing moving are the occasional motorcycle and you have to go #1 really bad you have a problem.

          1. You are a better man then me if you can do that in your car.

            I do know truck drivers do it and I understand that they use the smaller mouthed bottles. I hope they don’t try to do that while driving.

  8. 1) An enclosed SUV seems better than a pickup truck. If you are forced to slow down –e.g due to debris on the road , stop lights,etc — then attackers can leap in the back of the pickup bed, break the rear window and hold a knife to your throat.

    2) Might be a good idea to put security film on the side/rear windows of the SUV to give some protection against breakage (thrown bricks, clubs, etc.) Although a guard in the back seat with an AK-47 is even better.

    3) Raymond Davis — the CIA guy who shot those two attackers off of the motorcycle in Lahore, Pakistan — managed to nail them even while shooting his Glock through his windshield. Which suggests some practice beforehand in seeing how glass deflects bullets fired from inside the vehicle.

    4) I generally don’t like smartphones but they are very valuable when traffic gridlocks in urban areas due to accidents. You can pull up Google Maps, see which roads are gridlocked, where the obstruction/wreck is and see what alternative routes will let you bypass the mess and which routes give the best travel times. Can also search to find nearest police stations, hospitals, doctors,etc.

    5) If you are doing a multi-vehicle convoy, online military manuals and executive protection manuals have some good info on formations, maneuvers,etc whereby a protective SUV can protect the vehicle with dependents by putting itself between them and possible threats.

    1. A ply wood camper box plus your supplies blocks that attack plan and allows for much much more cargo hauling.

      Consider an old pre smog truck with 8 foot bed it has on its own 77.4 cubic foot of storage. And that’s just the beds up to the top buy using boxes cargo nets and “camper shells” you can double or triple this pay load right up to your hauling limit.

      Not to mention the ability to haul odd shaped or over sized loads.

      And if you fabricate your own “shell” you can completely enclose your supplies.

      Not to mention should you decide to bullet proof it you have much less area to cover.

      There is a reason that pick up trucks are the way they are and have been since the invention of the automobile

    2. Cabelas has AR500 steel targets in various sizes. Don’t think people won’t shoot at you or try roadblocks. A few pieces of AR500 steel plates placed behind your seat or inside the tailgate or ready to prop up on the dash could deflect kill shots aimed at the driver and passengers. I just didn’t see this mentioned in the great article.

      1. Well yes there is that method. There is also kevlar panels which weight about 200 lbs per 4×8 sheet as well as a plethora of external ballistic panels a quick google search would show them. To be honest local law enforcement agency will sell at generally low prices still armored cruisers

        But out side of shatter resistant windows you shouldn’t need an armored car.

  9. Our bug out vehicle is a 2008 F-350 dully 6.4 diesel that has been “bullet proofed” by a local outfit that rebuilt the truck with extra heavy duty “best of” aftermarket parts including “chipping” and removal of all the anti pollution cr*p. Still a WHOLE lot cheaper than buying a new truck! Had the stock fuel tank (34 gals) replaced with a 75 gallon tank and then a 105 gallon bed tank added. It also has mounts for six, 6 gallon Jerry cans of fuel along the bed if needed, for a total of approximately 216 gallons of fuel, and the possible mileage totals from that would be truck alone, at least 3,400 miles at 16 mpg and towing our 37′ 5th wheel RV at 8 mpg would be 1,700 miles! Plus I keep two manual siphon hoses in the tool box!

    Should mention that the front bumper has been upgraded to a super heavy duty steel bumper that I found when we were in Kalispell, Montana at a local weld shop a few years ago. Bet I could face off with an M1A1 Abrams with that thing. I also have a plow mount on the front that I can attach a very old heavy duty V style snow plow, that would assist in “getting through” almost any type of road blockage.

    Just outfitted it with the “EMP Shield” unit that will hopefully protect it from any natural or man made issue.

    Currently we have three “bugout” locations if needed, but hopefully not since we live in a very rural mountainous county in central PA. However, we have an extended family “deer camp” that is approximately 150 miles away and even more rural that my great grandfather farmed, 468 acres with natural gas wells that provide all the energy for the place. The other is a very remote “seasonal campground” that is owned by a very good friend approximately 5 hours NW of Bangor ME on a large lake. The other is another friends (old army buddy) in NW MT that has a large ranch that is at least 40 miles from nowhere! We could almost make it to the ranch IF we drive for fuel economy and looked for at least 50 gals of fuel on the way,

    1. Leo 2211,,,,,,,,,that EMP box is poor at best ,a joke at worst ,,,,we had a r&d lab test two ,,was told we should not waste our money ,,, we have a small fleet we wanted to protect ,,

  10. PS
    1) A good police scanner is good to have in addition to the CB — and can be programmed to scan the CD channels as well.

    I like the Uniden BCD436 because it (a) can scan the new P25 cell-phone type radios widely used in urban and suburban areas now by police and emergency services and (b) if you punch in your approximate latitude-longitude , the BCD 436 will automatically check its enclosed Radio Reference database and scan the police /emergency channels for the county your are currently in.

    2) The competing Whistler TRX-1 will do a similar lookup but you have to enter in the local zip code — which you are unlikely to know unless you packed the 2 inch thick US Postal Service Zip code directory. Note that the Lat-Long input for the Uniden can be gained by looking at a Rand McNally Road Atlas provided you know your rough location. The Uniden will also accept input of your position from a GPS unit via cable but I think it best to not be totally dependent on GPS. The Chinese can’t attack my Rand McNally Road Atlas and it works even if a domestic bullet goes through it.

    1. Yep, any scanner purchased needs to be one capable of scanning P25 phase 2 digital trunk systems such as the BCD436HP. Anything else would be waste of money.

  11. The weakest link is usually the loose nut behind the wheel,most Americans have had little or no training in driving techniques much less than in less than optimal conditions or towing trailers. One option not covered was use of roof racks,add on roof carriers and hitch carriers(if no trailers). These options can change vehicle stabilty and handling so be prepared and experienced if using these options. It is my experience that police often are the cause or purposely create traffic problems(a large concert venue was built at the end of a road I grew up on and experienced how they purposely created problems),be ready with secondary routes and plan c routes(access/dirt /utility easements). Do not put too much faith in gps systems,even under good conditions they are often wrong-keep good maps and be able to read them.

  12. OK ALL let’s get real ,your going to do what? All this talk makes me laff ,your going to show up with a load of stuff ?all you are is a target , think MOVE FAST. ,,,MOVE LIGHT,,,, if your more than 1/2 a tank of gas away your not going to make it ,the trip will take a full tank of gas time you get there , if you think your just going to show up some place and say I’m here ,,,,,not at my ranch !!!!
    Yes we have lots of food and water ,,for folks that have committed time and trouble to be part of the group and can be a credit to all ,
    As for a bug out rig ,,,,older per computer small car , with a extra fuel tank that’s plumbed in. Or better yet a Cessna bug smasher ,,leave early and leave light ,,water and wepon ,you don’t need comfort or feel good ,you need alive in one piece

    The money spent on a bug out rig is better spent on a patch of ground , with a root celler hidden by brush or blackberrys

    My last thought on the matter ,why are you there is you need to bug out ????????

    1. You can buy land cheap.

      Some places as low as 1200 bucks [per acre] where I’m looking. Drop a CONEX on it and RV your way there. If this has shown us anything it’s that the grid down return to the little house on the Prairie life isn’t likely to happen.

      Travel will be restricted if you wait too long. But, will be restored relatively promptly.

      Having a large enough to live in comfortable portable home means you can move to your new location prepared.

      Leaving your property set up for a porta home allows you to keep your taxes down.

      There are a million ways to prepare and survive. So far not a single one has proven correct since there has been no events in the USA long term.

      1. 1) True. However, there are multiple ways things can pan out — and moving to some rural areas that rank high as survival retreats can turn out to be taking a vow of poverty if things continue roughly as normal. Look at Mel Tappan’s recommendation of Grant’s Pass Oregon as a retreat in 1980. How many billionaires has Grants Pass created?

        2) When people reach 60, they need to consider how to cover medical care and how to get retirement income from savings. A lot more people die from heart attacks and strokes than from being shot by the Golden Horde.

        How prepared is a long time resident of Grants Pass compared to someone who spent the subsequent 40 years on Wall Street or in Silicon Valley?

        3) So it makes sense to make money while times are good and be ready to flee to a retreat if things change. New York City is hard to evacuate from only if you don’t have access to a boat or helicopter. Although even a bicycle can let you cover maybe 50 miles a day.

        http://planbmarine.com/

        4) Of course, the Internet — and this virus — is making it easier to work in and prosper in some rural areas . But not every rural area has high bandwidth Internet access.

        1. Yup what is manageable property and life style wise is totally different pre and post.

          That’s why I submitted that having a moveable home makes sense. If you take the employee and nuclear bombs yellow stone off the table … No zombies. Your left with an intact government and grid up type emergency.

          My self I’m looking at moving across country to the home of my birth where I lived for almost 30 year successfully. So I know it’s poverty levels and I know the income level I need to earn to be happy the crime everything including the soil fertility (it’s the best in the country).

          But sense it’s most likely to be a functional gov’ment you need to plan accordingly… Like keeping taxes low. Like not building a big overt bunker. Etc.

          It makes more sense to me to plan for a retirement life than to plan to swash buckle my way through life post apocalyptic style with an ar15 under one arm and my woman in the other and also plowing the field on my day off..

          Instead some where I can financially afford that requires an achievable at retirement age earning\ maintaining cost of expenses and income makes the most sense.

          Property cost 3k (just doubled cuz of corona) yearly taxes 97 bucks a year. Municipal water 200 a month. Electrical service 200. Food cost 200 gasoline cost 3 – 400 vehicular insurance 100 full coverage lower for liability.

          Total monthly income 1100 bucks and that’s accounting for garden growth amounts of water with a central air system for max comfort.

          Vs my big city current life with 1200 rent on a room….

          And that doesn’t take in to account growing food or using solar power.

        2. Don,

          So right! The number one killer of people in rural areas are heart attacks due to the time it take to get someone to the nearest hospital with a cat lab is some much greater. If you have [heart] health issues then a rural/remote location is not for you.

    2. 1) One reason for a bugout capability is flexibility — few places are immune to every disaster. One place may be good in event of a nuclear attack by Russia — but bad if the threat is prolonged drought or social unrest or mass uncontrolled migrations from Mexico (e.g, due to a crop failure)

      2) Billionaire survivalist Pierre Omidyar has homes in Hawaii, Nevada and an island offshore from France. Plus a private jet that can cross the oceans. His place in Hawaii is in a very rich area east of Diamond Head that is also the location of Hawaii’s National Guard — and if the natives get restless, Pierre can hop on a Boston Whaler at his beach front home and zip a few miles up the coast to his jet at Honolulu airport.

      3) If a big asteroid is sighted heading for Nevada, Pierre has it covered. If China warms up a nuke for the Indo-Pacific Command at Oahu, Pierre has it covered. On the other hand, if they start lynching billionaires in San Francisco, Pierre has a home in the Oahu that is the 4th largest concentration of US military within the USA. Look at WHERE Obama stayed on his vacation.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1887_Constitution_of_the_Hawaiian_Kingdom

      1. “Oahu that is the 4th largest concentration of US military within the USA.”

        I would call that a Bullseye and not a safe zone. The only island that would be less safe than Oahu if China goes berserk is Taiwan. Australia and New Zealand don’t look too good either. Guam and Japan are high on that list too.

        1. 1) Well, I think in 2009 the billionaires were more worried about an enraged US populace than they were about China. But, yes, Oahu is a primary target in a nuclear conflict.

          2) I also agree about New Zealand — it only has around 4 million people and with 4 BILLION Asians to the north. China has already purchased a 31 sq miles of New Zealand dairy farms and has tried to buy more:

          http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/business/2012-12/04/content_15983720.htm

          3) Which makes me wonder why US billionaires are buying up survival retreats –including bunkers — in New Zealand:

          https://www.businessinsider.com/peter-thiel-new-zealand-silicon-valley-doomsday-escape-2020-4

          Evidently money is no fix for geopolitical ignorance. I would think they would buying consulting from Mr Rawles or some other expert.

          https://www.abc.net.au/news/2008-09-03/32530

          1. billionaires (or generally rich people) with multiple fortified palaces to ‘bug out’ to are not really what we’re talking about… and in a real SHTF world, those people will find their own bodyguards and servants will quite likely eliminate them and take over the goodies for themselves quite rapidly. Those people are only trying to survive the way you might survive in a submarine or a spaceship. It has a short expiration date. A real plan involves long term connections to a place and to the community in that place (and a place where there _is_ a community). It takes many years to build up those relationships with both the people and the land, and late comers will not be seen in a very good light or might not be welcome at all. No way to cut corners on that. The Mrs and I recently spent a lot of time debating emigrating to the US (i have dual citizenship so that would have been feasible), but in the end a major factor against it was that we’d be starting from zero in a place where we were the strangers and the New Guy , just as things were falling apart. That’s a really bad place to be without five or ten years to get to know the good ol’ boys in the area and be accepted as at least a ‘hes alright, leave him alone’ neighbor.
            those billionaires jetting out to new zealand will find themselves at the top of the menu when TSHTF.

          2. 1) Mel Tappan made the same point in 1980 — that you “don’t want to be the expendable stranger who blew into town” just before the collapse (“Tappan on Survival”).

            2) But circa 1778, a Hessian Military leader in America noted that any society has people who are poor, desperate and barely managing to survive — and that it doesn’t take much money to help them and make their lives better. And that those friends will warn you if the enemy is near and hunting you.

            3) Similarly, giving some money to a local preacher to help the community might help.

            4) In all cases the gestures have to be done with humanity and friendship –nothing crude and insulting like buying a snitch. And kept secret from everyone but the involved parties.

            5) The British SOE had their officers in occupied France remind recruited agents that the SOE Officer was a member of a sinister and powerful organization that would exact brutal revenge for betrayal.

            Which would have caused a knowledgeable person to roar with laughter — stupid SOE officers in the French section in London dropped dozens of agents, weapons, ammo and money into the waiting arms of the Gestapo for almost 2 years because they didn’t realize early agents had been captured and were being used for a con game over the shortwave.

    3. yes, this is definittely true, it’s best to already be where you plan to bug out. in some cases though, until TSHTF, we need to work at modern world jobs for money to pay modern world taxes etc (and pay for preps, buy land, etc etc etc).. the Mrs and I didnt inherit any property, so we had to piece together buying bits around here and bought a ruined house and spent several years (and many more years of my savings) rebuilding it.. but thats just how it goes. Around here, the best pay one can get is to do backbreaking labor for a day-wage, and a ‘regular’ job pays maybe half of that! In order to build up savings etc, i had to find a job in another country a thousand miles away! that allowed me to build up what i have, but it also exposes me to being dangerously far from home much of the time. Our recent experience with getting back home in the nick of time, was a very sober reminder how risky that is and how i have already been trying to find other ways to make a living, specially now that the major capital outlays are behind us (house and a few acres of land) , because i really dont want to be caught on the wrong side of that bug-out next time.
      but we must acknowledge the reality that most of us have to keep one foot in the city to hold a job that actually pays. i dont keep much of anything in the city that i really mind having to walk away from, just a small rented apartment with the cheapest and minimal furnishings , and at any moment only whatever small items , mainly books, that ive acquired since the last trip back home. one thing that is resulting from this irrational (but very cynically planned out) virus insanity is that doing computer type work from remote has suddenly become a lot more acceptable in europe – it was already more common in the states in recent years- and i’m working on finding a new arrangement that i can stay down here and still make a few bucks to pay bills and taxes. good luck to everyone here trying to accomplish the same. it’s an intermediate step but for the moment still a necessary one.

  13. Atlas and a state map are good ideas. I also recommend getting local or county maps in areas you will be traveling. You’ll probably find roads that aren’t on the larger maps.

  14. Fuel is the key….even if you make it to your BOL how long will you be able to continue using your vehicles? Here are a few ideas. Older diesel trucks run just fine on Black Diesel (waste motor oil/transmission fluid etc.) having said that there is a learning curve. The material must be processed properly. You can get by with just filtering (down to 1 micron) or better yet use a centrifuge. There is a lot of information online about this, just check out waste motor oil as fuel. One more comment on this. Newer oils are synthetic and have additives that reduce their ability to ignite, you need to add some regular gasoline (no more than 10%) to these oils.

    Gasoline vehicles can improve mileage by using a HHO generator. This is a generator that uses electrolysis to generate hydrogen and oxygen that is introduced into the engine through the normal air stream. This IS NOT running the vehicle on WATER. This is NOT running the vehicle on hydrogen. The hydrogen and oxygen entering the air system combines with the fuel as an enhancer to more completely burn the fuel you are currently wasting. HERE AGAIN THERE IS A LEARNING CURVE.

    There is a lot of hype out there!!! But both of these systems are usable. You MUST educate yourself on these subjects. You can use the HHO on new vehicles BUT you need to by the electronic adapters to be able to use them on the newer OBD2 systems.

    1. When your using water to add power in gasoline engines you will add alot of wear and tear to your engine.

      When you add hydrogen you cause extra wear and tear to your engine. Hydrogen will cause a brittleing to your valves and pistons. If you haven’t modified the internals for it.

      The bit about water came from a WW2 plane mechanic. The hydrogen came from a hippy mechanic that I knew personally.

      Just a side note for you. Yes they do work and they do work considerable well but the draw back is about equal. And as has been noted on each of them not worth the extra mpg gained.

      If your goal is mpg related then picking up a smaller lighter vehicle should be the direction.

      Also if your not worried about self production or maintenance you can fog in a low shot of mp3 or even smaller amount of bottled oxygen (providing the correct research and math is done)

      You could buy a light belt fed super charger to improve you mpg too. Nothing crazy just small.

      If your running a carburetor then you can lean your carb out and stay light on the pedal. Doing the lean carb light foot 55 mph driving I got my 1972 f250 to give about 20 mpg (mix on and off highway) with a 390 Fe v8 engine. Which beat the modern truck mpg considerably.

      1. My 2018 F150 V6 4WD pickup easily gets 26 mpg on a trip. This includes hills and even mountain passes. I can drive 550 miles on my 22 gal gas tank before it tells me it’s low on gas. It would be a really simple thing to carry 4 or 5 five gallon cans of gas and double that distance. I’m not sure that you can get one gas tank’s distance from a large city.

        1. So you are comparing a diesel to a gas engine with a gasoline engine from 40 years prior?

          At the time I had that truck cash for clunkers was in effect and the “sticker rated” mpg for other gasoline engines was 15 or less.

          1. No, that’s not what I’m doing. I’m illustrating that a tank full of gas and the ability to easily carry the equivalent of a second tankful totally nullifies any idea that you should be a tank full of gas from the golden horde. I will agree that distance is good but in today’s world distance is relative. My comment was not intended to disagree with yours it was merely the opportunity to make my comment.

  15. Good article.

    As someone who built a bugout vehicle in 2018 to escape California (Bay Area), I can offer my perspective.

    I started my research and planning in early 2017 (when I found Jim’s blog), thinking much along the lines you lay out in your very nice article.

    Through my research, planning and a lot of back and forth I ultimately decided that a van conversion was the best option for me. I ordered a Ford Transit Cargo Van and hired a van conversion company to convert it into a four-season off-road tiny house. These were the specs I ordered:

    * 2018 Transit Cargo Van 350
    * High Roof
    * Extended Length
    * 148″ Wheelbase
    * SRW
    * 3.5L EcoBoost V6 Engine
    * 6-Speed Automatic Overdrive with SelectShift Transmission
    * 3.73 Limited Slip Axle

    The van’s living quarter’s is powered entirely with a lithium battery bank (charged by both solar and a second alternator) which runs the fans, water pump, lights (indoor and outdoor), fridge, freezer, microwave, stove and AC. The furnace and hot water heater sip off the gas tank, so my only power needs are gasoline and the sun.

    The conversion was done by a combination of Sportsmobile, QuadVan and VanCompass.

    I live and work full-time in my Transit on BLM and National Forest land, going into small towns for supplies about once a month.

    I’ve been shopping for a remote homestead in the redoubt region during my travels, which was part of the reason I built the van conversion. However, the primary reason was to bugout from California while I still had time.

  16. Another good and though provoking article. IMHO, I would not need to alter the vehicle much other than adding heavy duty steel bumpers that can protect the radiator in the front, and in the rear, something that can bash into a tree or another vehicle, and install tall and narrow tires rather than wide flotation style tires. Have 2 spare tires, a professional grade tire plugging kit, and an air compressor. Perhaps beefing up the suspension for heavy loads if needed, would be necessary. Lift kits can be an unnecessary expense, but if the terrain you may have to traverse might justify improving the take off angle if taller tires can not. Tall and narrow tires are better off road and reduce the need for a lift kit to make clearance for wider tires. A heavy vehicle with narrow tires has more traction. This why the military uses narrow tires. And we want the center of gravity lower as well.

    Winches are rarely used, and smaller winches are less expensive and require less modification to the electrical system, but do add a secondary battery. Most of the time a winch needs only to handle the ‘rolling’ weight that is far less that the actual weight of a vehicle. Most of the time other vehicle recover techniques can be used, and the winch assists if nothing else works. The addition of lockers in the rear, and then front is a better investment. But experience with off road driving is priceless. Off roading in a 2WD vehicle is a good training as it forces the driver to look ahead and read the road and the avoid danger ahead. Even if driving a 4WD, use 2WD to go in, and only 4WD to get out only if need be. This is a good rule of thumb. Avoid using the lowest gear as that is when drive train can be broken. A stock vehicle can sometimes do as well as a heavily modified off road vehicle if the nut behind the wheel is properly torqued. My old totally stock Toyota has embarrassed such vehicles. Research the vehicle before buying. Light and short wheel based vehicles have an advantage off road if they can meet your capacity requirement. It might be good to see if your requirement can be altered to fit the vehicle. I would rather have two such vehicles, rather than one that handles twice the load. One can also ‘cross load’ vehicles in case one is lost.

    Last few points. Use the buddy system and take two vehicles to bug out. One can help the other. It is better to have two standard 4WD vehicles than spend the money on modding one. Modifying the motor in anyway is seldom cost effective. Older diesel rigs are best if they can be found in good condition. Having two vehicles that are the same make and year reduces how much one needs to learn, and the load out can be identical and ‘cross loaded’, and one can become a temporary or permanent parts donor for the other. Personally, I will not own a vehicle I cannot with basic tools, rebuild on the road side with a box of the usual parts that fail. Simple is better. Rebuilding, or purchasing a restored vehicle is better than buying some shiny new thing that no one except the dealer can handle. Eventually it will break and there will be no dealer if your retreat is where is should be…in the middle of nowhere.

  17. A word on paper maps… I agree they are a good supplement to the GPS that has spoiled so many of us, but be aware of changes to things like exit numbers on highways. A few years ago I took a road trip with one of my kids to visit my folks. I only had a flip phone at the time, so we took maps and my kid got to act as navigator. Needless to say, we ended up off course a couple of times due to inaccurate details on the map. No big deal – we figured it out, but I learned an important lesson. Now that the city planners figure everyone has a phone with a GPS, they don’t worry much about making changes. Moral of the story: get the newest maps possible for your BOV.

  18. I agree with Tunnel Rabbit in that you should have a Sleeper….all beefed up and rebuilt engine, tranny, hubs, etc., with a body that looks like a meth head garbage exterior if you want to sneak past blocks and avoid robbery.

    I got stuck many times in off-road Wyoming and Montana. At least one Hi lift jack is mandatory, but life is so much easier with two. WARNING: careless use kills people if you are extra cautious using Hi Lift jacks. The other thing I always had in my pickup truck was dunnage, including a chunk of 8 by 8.

    As you jack up your vehicle out of mud, creeks, or where the ruts get deeper than your ground clearance, you need to block under your tires to drive off. BTDT dozens of times with no help, no tow truck, no winch. If you are going to bug out in disaster you need to be off road when possible, using old caterpiller trails, semi decent logging roads, etc.

    Bottle jacks are nice on hard surface, but useless when your vehicle stick in snow drifts, creeks, mud and your vehicle frame has no clearance under it to place it under, or you have to lift your vehicle clear out of muddy grave.

    And regarding Gasoline storage, PRI-G rejuvenates old gas as well as preserving it.

    If diesel gets bacteria in it, it’s useless because even if you kill that bacteria it forms sludge that will plug your fuel system. Unless you want to filter it with a 1 Micron filter, they say.

    Tunnel Rabbit advice on 2 wheel to 4 wheel is old school for old vehicles, and I always followed it. Always stay in 2WD until you get stuck. Then go to 4WD. I used to have old school tire chains for all 4 tires in back snow and off-road.

    I have two BOV: a 1Ton 1985 Chevy pickup 4WD with huge bumper and 2 Ton winch, with dings, peeling paint, an old ugly waterproof canopy, and totally rebuilt engine and drive train that runs smooth. The other is a 1995 Pathfinder kept in perfect running shape with a cruddy red paint job, faded wood gear rack.

    The Pathfinder cost a total a $4K with new tires. The Chevy has been back and forth from Laramie to Seattle several trips and total cost over 16 years is about $10K including all mechanic work and 3 sets of tires.

    Those conversion modified vans sound absolutely wonderful, but in bad times you might stand out when you want to sneak past.

    My advice? Those old diesels run good and in peacetime are absolutely good to go. But everyone hears you from a mile away, and if they are afoot and you aren’t, prepare for a change in fortunes.

  19. How about a M35A2 deuce and a half and 3/4 ton trailer. The benefits are many but there are also some draw backs as well. The benefits include the truck’s size which could be advantageous when ramming someone or driving over them if that is your only recourse. It’s ten wheel drive also so bad roads due to severe weather wouldn’t be too much of an issue. It has a large bed and with a cover you can keep your goodies out of sight. With a trailer with a covered bed you increase your hauling capacity and once again keep your stuff from prying eyes who may want to make your stuff their stuff. It would be totally unaffected by an EMP because of it’s old school diesel engine which BTW also is multi-fueled and that gives you several options on finding fuel. And because it’s a military vehicle some people would think you are military and decide not to screw with you, thinking that you must be heavily armed with automatic weapons. The covered bed will also make a nice sleeping area if your journey should require an overnight camp out. And with the big bed and trailer you could haul all of the fuel you need. As far as tactical advantages go, the front windows open up for forward on the move shooting. And finally it’s just simply intimidating so maybe the bad guys will look for an easier target. On the down side it is loud and slow and gets about nine miles per gallon (although you can carry all the fuel you need).
    So there is no perfect bug out vehicle and every prepper would be wise to read WVA’s article and then decide what would work best for him. For me, I’ll stick with the deuce.

  20. FYI , it’s my understanding that sometime along the way the new diesel vehicles esp trucks have an electronic eye in the fuel system. The reason for it is to keep the vehicles from using off road farm diesel(red/dyed), therefore avoiding the road use tax. But it would also interfere with the use of mixed motor oil and some sort of dilution liquid. If the eye can’t see through the fuel, it won’t run. Check with your vehicles local dealer service department for specific info.

  21. Interesting article and discussion. I live in my “bug out” property, a decision I made within the last couple of years. I would’ve been fine for a couple of years without having to go anywhere. But, if I had to make a “real living”, this would’ve been a very difficult thing to do so I understand it when people say they can’t move to a remote area and still earn a living. It takes quite a bit of planning, sacrifice, and trade-offs.

    When the “plandemic” (as I call it, just ignore me if you are offended) first started, I was thinking ahead as fast as I could because my home is also the “safe house” for my family. Our Governor basically closed our borders with a “stay away” order. I carefully reviewed the various routes in and out and sent instructions to my adult children, should they feel they needed to come. But, the biggest problem I saw was the fact they all have out of state plates on their vehicles. They’d stick out like a sore thumb once they crossed the border, even under cover of night, and even taking alternate routes. There are some bored sheriffs and highway patrol out here. I was really distressed about the idea that even if they were prepared to bug out and had no vehicle or fuel issues en route, they could be turned away by law enforcement. I don’t really know how hard the stay away order was enforced and it looks like it might be lifted soon completely. But, this was a taste of what could come. Seems like there is a case to be made for having a secondary set of plates (or car), but I don’t know how one goes about that legally. Any ideas?

    1. so, aside from some james bond type ideas better suited for move plots – say, having two close to identical cars (cheap old beaters, same year, make, model, color, etc) registered in each of the two states concerned and keeping both sets of plates with the one one expects to be driving.. which seems like a bit of a stretch, how about some other simpler modes of transportation like bicycles that dont involve vehicles with license plates? depends on how much money etc one has to spend on contingency plans , but, i suppose as a general first principle, those who expect to bug out should not plan on hauling a lot of stuff with them. If you want something to be at your BOL put it there now while it’s still relatively easy to do. so, supposing they have followed that advice, they are mainly interested in getting themselves and small possessions on their persons (things that fit in a pocket or small sack/backpack etc, only something one can have physically on ones person) and then the mode of transportation is not necessary to itself make the whole trip. If theres a vehicle involved , keep it cheap and something one is willing to leave behind, maybe stahsed somewhere for possible future retrieval if thats possible, but not something one really minds abandoning. If it’s big enough to haul a few bicycles for all passengers concerned, that’s good. have the bikes ready to load up and off you go. If not, possibly have the bikes stashed somewhere close to the state line in an out of the way spot where one could leave the vehicle and switch to the bikes. How far to go on what kind of terrain then? the bikes also allow one to get off of regular paved roads, which at least in the current reality we live in, is the most likely place for roadblocks etc. The car-centric mentality is omnipresent, and that means the cops also only really think in terms of roads and cars moving on them. People on foot or on bicycle going along some dirt path in the boonies might not encounter any impediment until theyre well over the border. If this is a serious enough plan, one could have a cache waiting somewhere to help make the next leg of the journey- if its more bicycle work, then a cache with some high energy food and bottled water etc to refresh and get going again, maybe a couple tools or even items for defense which might also not be easy to take with you over the border.
      Depends on what distances and terrain one is talking about as well. In rugged mountains, well, getting rid of a vehicle and getting on foot or bike gives increased mobility in a lot of other dimensions as well.
      If it’s something like crossing the entire rocky mountains in winter, of course, it’s a different matter. but if it’s going 20, 30, 50 miles, in conditions where one can handle being out of doors for a day or two, then it’s totally practical and almost invisible. Meanwhile if you have some way of coordinating with your people at the destination they might help come collect you along the way, etc. often when borders are closed internal movement is still less restricted.

        1. mm thats a long way , and carrying toddlers is a further complication. at least they can work immediately toward prepositioning any _objects_ they’d want to transport to the destination location, and then in the case of a bug-out, they’d only be having to get themselves to the destination in one piece. makes it easier to be flexible if youre not agonizing over abandoning everything you own and limiting choices because of that. im sure that a large portion of the 800 miles could still be done by vehicle, but thats probably passing through several different states, so the out-of-state vehicle problem remains. perhaps a realignment of priorities to relocate closer to the final location would be in order. Thats a very heavy decision but if one is serious about the need to end up at the BOL anyway, then it makes sense to make some changes in life to minimize time very far away from there. I’ve got a similar change in progress.. for some years i considered it an acceptable risk to have a job very far from my home base, but already before these recent restrictions were imposed had begun working on changing that and coming up with some arrangement that kept me far from home a lot less of the time and with the last couple months as an eye-opener, priorities are shifted again.

  22. By personal experience I know you can have a perfectly functioning vehicle and if you have your key fob transponders jacked up…you are out of luck. Will not start, will not run. They call this a feature. Ford FoMoCo & their PATS system can turn a nice fishing trip into hell.
    Many other manufacturers do this same garbage…it makes them a lot of money when you have to tow it in to them.

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